London Mayor Ken Livingstone, currently visiting India with a delegation of ‘London Ambassadors’, has signed a partnership agreement with Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi to increase ooperation between the two cities.
A Memorandum of Understanding covering tourism was also signed by James Bidwell, Chief Executive of Visit London, and Dr Kaul, Chairman and Managing Director of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd.
In 2006 visitors to London from India spent £152million – more than those from Japan.
Mayor Ken Livingstone said the signing of the two documents “demonstrates our commitment to work together. I welcome the economic, social and cultural opportunities that these new ties will bring to both capital cities. The cities have a growing amount to learn from each other in the fields of transport, environment, planning and the features of city development.”
“Tourism is a vital part of Londons economy. Last year 230, 000 Indians visited the capital and in the future this number will grow rapidly. We want more Indians to come to visit London and see the huge number of attractions that the capital offers. Likewise, I hope that many Londoners will choose to visit India to see the many cultural offerings that we recently showcased during our recent India Now celebrations in London.”
Shelia Dikshit said: “I am very pleased to welcome Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London to Delhi today. Both cities have worked closely together since the signing of the friendship agreement in 2002 which is why I am delighted that today we are building on that relationship through the signing of the city to city partnership agreement and the tourism Memorandum of Understanding.”
“London and Delhi are linked together in many ways from business to culture to history. In the future both cities face common opportunities and challenges from hosting great sporting events to combating climate change. I am sure working together our shared experience will only benefit our two great cities.”
Mr Livingstone has also used his visit ti Delhi to open ‘The London India Office’ to promote business, culture and tourism between the two cities and announced the appointment of Divya Dwivedi as his representative in Delhi.
Divya Dwivedi said: “This is an exciting new challenge for me and I keenly look forward to representing the Mayor of London’s Office in India.”
“I am firmly convinced about the opportunity that lies ahead of me to function as a keystone in bridging opportunities between London and India. In this position, I hope to successfully promote brand London and develop a mutually beneficial relationship between India and London.”